Aviation Avionic Vietnam Vets visit CAB
August 18, 2014
Vietnam-era Soldiers shared their history with current Soldiers from 4th Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, during a visit by Aviation Electrical Veterans at Butts Army Airfield on Fort Carson, Aug. 7.
Avionic Soldiers from 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion and 3rd Assault Helicopter Battalion, both from 4th Aviation Regiment, 4th CAB, 4th Inf. Div., gave veterans a tour of the hangars.
"We have avionic service members in attendance that served in all regions of the Vietnam War," said Jack McCabe, former avionics communication equipment repairer and AVEL coordinator. "This is our fourth reunion and we change the location every year to suit all of our members. We decided to have it in Colorado Springs and heard about the 4th CAB being stationed here. We thought it would be a great stop and the CAB made it happen for us without hesitation. We are very grateful to have this opportunity to meet with these great CAB Soldiers."
The veterans said they appreciated the time they spent with the CAB Soldiers and the opportunity to see how their old profession has progressed.
"It was great getting to see the (advancements) they made to the aircraft over the years," said McCabe. "The majority of us worked on Huey helicopters. I don't think most of us have ever been this close to a Black Hawk helicopter. The Chinook is like an old shoe -- models have changed a lot, but still have the same functions. The more things change, the more they stay the same."
Sgt. Sharanbir Mander, avionics mechanic, Company D, 2nd GSAB, enjoyed learning how the veterans fixed electrical problems during Vietnam.
"During one of stories that the vets were telling me, I figured out that some of the same technical issues they faced a long time ago are some of the same ones we face today," said Mander. "It means a lot to me that I got to meet with these Vietnam veterans from my own career field. It was a great experience."
Spc. Quarterrio Lilly, avionics mechanic, Company D, savors how hard the vets had to work during their time in service and their help in the progression of his profession.
"The veterans had much harder conditions during their time at war," said Lilly. "I learned they used to have (to) search for electrical issues by physically looking at all the wiring. Today, we just hook a computer up to run diagnostics to tell us where the faults are. It was great seeing the men and women who helped progress our career field."
The visit ended with the presentation of sentiments from both the 4th CAB leadership and the AVEL veterans. AVEL vets presented Command Sgt. Maj. Antoine Duchatelier, 4th CAB, aviation patches from the units they served with in Vietnam. Duchatelier presented the vets with a certificate of appreciation and gave them all unit coins.